links for 2010-10-11

  • “Before the Intifada, it wasn’t a matter of accessibility,” explains Feeza Shraim, now 50. “Women just felt more comfortable with another woman delivering. But after the Intifada, it was about accessibility and I began helping all kinds of women when it was too hard for them to reach a hospital.”

    Conducting her work by word-of-mouth, Shraim would go to each woman’s house armed with her own equipment, and later—when violence subsided a bit—she set up a room in her own home with an oxygen tank, disposable tools and medical kits. It wasn’t long before this midwife and caretaker opened up her very own clinic in a city with daily births numbering in the hundreds."

  • "In July, Malta was criticized after 27 of 55 people rescued during a joint operation were returned to Libya. The Maltese government maintains that the 27 people 'volunteered' to be sent back, a claim the UNHCR spokesperson in Rome called 'not credible and scarcely realistic.' In retaliation, Libya shut down the UNHCR office, further limiting the agency's ability to assist asylum seekers. The immigrant influx poses a challenge for Malta, an island nation of 400,000. At the peak of migration in 2008, 84 boats carrying 2,775 people landed here or were brought in after rescue. Despite Malta's unique blend of Arab, Italian and British influence, it remained relatively insular until it joined the European Union in 2004, which coincided with an increase in the number of asylum seekers from Africa after outbreaks of violence in Somalia, Eritrea and the Sudan."
  • "Lyon said that although there had been 'numerous efforts to address racism in the prison system … we have yet to get a better relationship between justice authorities and black communities. Instead we have ended up with mistrust breeding mistrust.' Evidence of this damaged relationship can be found in the commission's report. On the streets, black people were subjected to what the report describes as an "excess" of 145,000 stop and searches in 2008. It notes that black people constitute less than 3% of the population, yet made up 15% of people stopped by police."
  • "Finally, Williams is clearly wrong on two accounts: 1) Black women don’t need to be convinced to give “vanilla a chance.” Black women can date anyone of any race. Black women who want to stay down for their brothers should be respected for their choice. For those who want to date outside of their race, why is white the only acceptable alternative? I suppose other men of color fail to measure up to her almighty white standards as well. 2) There aren’t eight reasons why black women should date outside of their race. There’s only one: common interest. A date is not a lifelong commitment. If you have something in common, no mater what color he is, go out, have a great time, learn something about yourself and someone else in the process. It might be the best way to eradicate these heinous essentialized notions. One date at a time."
  • "With all do respect to you all, Nas is NOBODY's slave. This is not the 1800's, respect me and I will respect you.

    I won't even tap dance around in an email, I will get right into it. People connect to the Artist @ the end of the day, they don't connect with the executives. Honestly, nobody even cares what label puts out a great record, they care about who recorded it. Yet time and time again its the executives who always stand in the way of a creative artist's dream and aspirations. You don't help draw the truth from my deepest and most inner soul, you don’t even do a great job @ selling it. The #1 problem with DEF JAM is pretty simple and obvious, the executives think they are the stars. You aren't…. not even close. As a matter of fact, you wish you were, but it didn't work out so you took a desk job. To the consumer, I COME FIRST. Stop trying to deprive them! I have a fan base that dies for my music and a RAP label that doesn't understand RAP. Pretty fucked up situation."

  • "Why is it important to encourage women to be involved in hip-hop in particular?

    One because it's still a very male-dominated business. But I've seen a lot of women be successful in the genre. Look at Queen Latifah, look at MC Lyte, look at Mona Scott, who managed Missy Elliot. There are so many women on a professional level, as well as those that were able to break through on the creative side. We're out there, we're making strides and it's important for us to know that we can as women succeed in hip-hop.

    There are so many women … that are in various positions out there other than being in the video or is a singer or rapper. "